LURAY, Va. – Yesterday, the Shenandoah Valley Travel Association (SVTA) received $10,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) #WanderLove Recovery Grant Program, a new grant made available to Virginia’s Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) that have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Industry research suggests that in-state and drive-market road trips will likely be the first to return when people are ready to travel again. Travelers will be searching for safe, close-to-home destinations that allow for social distancing and provide access to open spaces, outdoor activities, and rural experiences.
The wide open outdoor spaces in the Shenandoah Valley provide a range of good options for traditional summertime fun. Summer outdoor activities that are considered relatively safe (per this recent article by Forbes) include biking, camping, hiking, rafting, and stargazing, all of which the Shenandoah Valley offers – in addition to outdoor farmers markets, rock climbing, horseback riding, and more.
As one of the oldest regional tourism promotional organizations of its kind in the United States, the Shenandoah Valley Travel Association (SVTA) has long been involved in the promotion of this legendary landscape. In 1924, SVTA was initially involved in the creation of Shenandoah National Park by formally calling for the establishment of a new national park in the Shenandoah Valley. Then, as now, SVTA steadfastly supports our tourism industry partners and colleagues, helping to preserve and promote our region to visitors.
Tourism is one of the Commonwealth’s largest economic engines and the tourism and hospitality industries have been among the hardest-hit by the pandemic, experiencing decreased revenue and job loss, along with the temporary closure of many tourism-related businesses. A revived tourism economy can help spur new economic activity and inject critical funds back into Virginia communities.
“The coronavirus pandemic had an immediate and devastating impact on Virginia’s tourism industry,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “Getting travelers back on the road and spending money in our cities and towns is one of the fastest ways to inject dollars back into our economy and our communities. The Virginia Tourism Corporation’s DMO WanderLove Recovery Grants gives localities the ability to market their destination as safe and welcoming when visitors are ready to resume travel.”
If you are interested in visiting the Shenandoah Valley, know that we’re excited to see you! Please travel responsibly — avoid busy places, practice social distancing, wear masks, and wash hands frequently. If you are on a road trip, it’s best to share a vehicle with those in your immediate household with whom you’ve already been quarantined. Do not travel if you are sick, or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Do not travel with someone who is sick. If you are traveling far from your local community, and want more information, see these guidelines from the CDC.
About Shenandoah Valley Travel Association (SVTA)
Founded in 1924, SVTA is one of the oldest regional tourism promotional organizations of its kind in the United States. The association promotes the tourism assets of the beautiful and historic Shenandoah Valley to the rest of the world. Our beautiful year-round destination offers some of the East Coast’s most spectacular natural landscapes, outstanding outdoor recreation, historic sites and attractions, plus charming small cities surrounded by working farms, orchards, vineyards, and craft breweries. More information at VisitShenandoah.org and VisitSkylineDrive.org
About Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC)
Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency charged with marketing the Commonwealth as a premier travel and film destination. A total of $866,504 in marketing grant funds were awarded to 90 Destination Marketing Organizations as part of Virginia’s DMO WanderLove Recovery Grant program. See Governor Northam’s press release here.